FitBit Is Developing Devices For Sleep Apnea
If you have ever used any FitBit devices, then you probably realize how much they are revolutionizing the health and fitness industry. Never before has technology been harnessed to this extent to help the average person achieve fitness goals like it has been with FitBit—and as they continue to make new and better products, people are realizing more and more how much of an asset to the modern human life they can actually be.
But soon, the benefits that FitBit can bring to the table may not be limited to just sports and fitness. Soon, sleep apnea might also be on their radar.
Doesn’t FitBit Already Have Sleep Monitoring Products?
Yes, actually. FitBit has, for some time now, been trying to make its products better at monitoring sleep. Devices like the FitBit Blaze and the Charge 2 both had sleep-monitoring capabilities. But now, they are going beyond this in attempting to actually create devices that can not only track sleep apnea, but that can even diagnose it.
How, you might ask? Well, that’s the interesting part.
Note: Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that currently affects a large percentage of the world’s population. Obstructive sleep apnea, which is the most common version of the condition, causes short pauses in the breathing of sufferers as they sleep, which deprives the brain of oxygen. The individual is then ‘jerked awake’ by the brain’s natural response to the deprivation, which causes them to gasp for air. They wake up just enough to breathe, but generally not enough to know that they even woke up. This may happen dozens, or even hundreds of times over the course of a night, severely diminishing the quality of sleep for the sufferer.
These new FitBit devices are supposed to use heart rate and blood-oxygen level data to help diagnose sleep apnea. This could be accomplished through the use of optical technology, which would allow a light, peering into the skin, to track the blood’s color. As it turns out, less oxygenated blood is ‘more blue and less red’ than oxygenated blood, and the optical sensor could pick up on that.
A spokesperson for the company said that such a device could come out within the next year. It is possible that this feature will be included in FitBit’s smartwatch, but the specifics remain uncertain.
Don’t Current Sleep Trackers Already Do This?
While it is true that we do have access to pretty good sleep monitoring equipment already (at least, in terms of on-the-go equipment that is easy to purchase and use… and ruling out ‘clinical grade’ equipment), it is still a bit rudimentary in how it collects the data it uses to analyze our sleeping patterns.
Right now, sleep-tracking devices monitor things like movement, heart rate, respiration, sleep cycles, total time asleep, how ‘deep’ the sleep was, whether you snored or not, etc.
But, a lot of these devices are inaccurate, at least to a certain point, and there are some problems with them.
But—they are still doing a lot of good to help people analyze their sleeping behavior, which can be a difficult task without a device to help you. It is obviously hard to figure out what is going on while you are asleep, and your partner cannot always do what needs to be done to accurately figure out whether or not we are sleeping restlessly.
But, these new developments from FitBit could take sleep tracking to an entirely new level. Being able to sample the blood with optic technology is some pretty space-age stuff.
So let’s hope that they are able to figure out a way to make it work, and to keep it affordable. It could do wonders for people who are struggling with analyzing their sleeping habits on a budget and/or on their own time.